Vehicle-to-vehicle technology is in development to improve safety via communication. Ford's driver-assistance system can alert motorists to nearby bicycles using Bluetooth 5, and Trek is developing flashing bike taillights that are triggered by sensors.
Holiday season retail sales were up 8.3% in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to a report from NRF, which in November forecast an increase of between 3.6% and 5.2%. "Faced with rising transmission of the virus, state restrictions on retailers and heightened political and economic uncertainty, consumers chose to spend on gifts that lifted the spirits of their families and friends and provided a sense of normalcy given the challenging year," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.
Marc Lore, Walmart's US e-commerce leader, will leave the company nearly five years after the retail giant acquired his startup Jet.com and Lore joined to help steer Walmart's growing e-commerce efforts. Lore, whose other startups include Quidsi, which was acquired by Amazon, said he'll retire from the company at the end of January and plans to keep working with startups.
Demand for Uniqlo's casual apparel fueled a 23% increase in the most recent quarterly operating profits for Japan-based parent Fast Retailing. Markets including China and Vietnam, where the pandemic was manageable, outperformed expectations, while stores in Europe and North America struggled, the company reported.
Benchmarking your results against historical data or the performance of other businesses can provide insight about potential areas of improvement, writes Nicole Fallon. Fallon lays out steps for a typical benchmarking process, including identifying relevant metrics, implementing an action plan and monitoring progress.
Lowe's has embarked on a "Total Home" strategy with the goal of growing market share by offering all of the solutions people need for every aspect of home improvement and decor. The mission comes as the pandemic has altered the way many think about their homes and a December survey revealed that 59% of consumers plan to spend some of their extra cash on home improvements.
Lowe's and Wayfair come from different parts of the retail world, but Lowe's President and CEO Marvin Ellison and Wayfair President and CEO Niraj Shah both talked about the importance of technology and strong foundations at Retail's Big Show. "It's like building a home," Ellison said. "You need a sound, solid foundation."
Suitsupply and Verizon have adopted strategies such as retail-by-appointment during the pandemic to both keep shoppers and employees safe and further personalize the shopping experience, executives from both companies told attendees at Retail's Big Show. Suitsupply made store improvements to enhance the experience when in-person shopping returns and made stylists available in virtual channels in the meantime, CEO Fokke De Jong said.
Existing technology helped some retailers pivot quickly to meet changing shopper needs, Scandit co-founder Christian Floerkemeier said during a session at NRF 2021: Retail's Big Show -- Chapter 1. Target's Shipt service was already using Scandit's mobile scanning tech, and the partnership allowed the service to get more than 40,000 new shoppers on board in eight weeks, Floerkemeier said.
Wayfair's increased investments in customer service have encouraged more consumers to shop for furniture online, CEO Niraj Shah said at NRF 2021: Retail's Big Show -- Chapter 1. The online furniture retailer is forecasting 2020 revenue of $14.2 billion, a 56% gain.
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